Sunday, 18 January 2015
Location: South Pacific 3
We are not yet a truly ‘networked planet’ as there are population still waiting for access, trapped in the slow lane or even worse – not connected at all. In 2015 in the Pacific, ‘off network” is the reality for many small populations, and even some national capitals are stuck firmly in the slow lane – consider an entire country connected to the global network over a 4Mbps link. Efforts being made to address these gaps like reducing constraints on international connectivity through donor-funded submarine cables as those recently commissioned in Tonga and Vanuatu, and similar efforts in Palau and Federated States of Micronesia. Countries are being provided assistance to liberalise markets and introduce broadband services to complement improvements to international connectivity. Technology is also playing its part with advances in spot-beam satellite technology and innovative applications. However, not all problems can be solved by donors and technology. In addition to the first-world challenges of e-Government, e-commerce and the desire to foster innovation, Pacific Island Countries face many more basic policy challenges.
This panel will explore these issues and discuss how Pacific regulators and policy makers are responding to the challenge. Under severe resource constraints, Pacific small island states cannot simply adopt the standard approaches of regulators in more developed economies. They must be innovative, and their approaches contain lessons for all regulators.
Director, ICT, University of the South Pacific
Senior ICT Policy Specialist, World Bank
Regulator, Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator (TRR)
ICT Regulatory Consultant, Office of the Regulator
Director, Communications, Department of Communications, Government of Fiji